December e-news: Making and Keeping Friends

December 2016
Carrying Peace into the New Year
Dear Friends,

In the last month I have seen Friends come together in many ways to be the Friends World Committee. I am so thankful for the Convocations Program Group and other folks who have helped us to find a new location for the Section Meeting on very short notice. The first-ever meeting of the Representative Engagement Group (all the Regional Coordinators) together with our long-standing Nominating Committee was invigorating for all of us. And I am inspired by working with all the partners who are contributing to our “Seeing the Tapestry” project to create the new QuakerSpeak videos and program guides.
Please join me in making more of this good work possible in the coming year. Make a financial donation today. Use FWCC resources to lead a program to promote unity and dialogue in your local community in January. Attend the Section Meeting in March. And pray for peace, justice, and faithfulness among Friends and in our whole world, always.
In friendship,

committee group photo
Representative Engagement and Nominating Committees in Madison, Wisconsin, November 2016
Robin Mohr signature

Robin Mohr
Executive Secretary

FWCC and Sustainability
The December QuakerSpeak – FWCC partnership video focuses on the work that started with the Kabarak Call and led to our sustainability minute from the 2016 World Plenary in Pisac, Peru. In this video, David Millar and Rachel Madenyika explore how Quakers approach sustainability.
The Kabarak Call for Peace and Ecojustice was approved on April 24, 2012 at the Sixth World Conference Friends, held at Kabarak University near Nakuru, Kenya. It was the culmination of the FWCC World Consultation on Global Change which was held in 2010 and 2011.
In January 2016, the FWCC World Plenary Meeting approved the Pisac sustainability minute proposed by the Consultation on Sustaining Life on Earth. “This FWCC Plenary Meeting also asks all Yearly Meetings to initiate at least two concrete actions on sustainability within the next 12 months. These may build on existing projects of individuals or monthly meetings or they may be new initiatives. We ask that they encourage Young Friends to play key roles. We ask that meetings minute the progress and results, so as to share them with FWCC and Quaker meetings.”
FWCC Section of the Americas is proud to be taking part in these important actions. For more information on the Kabarak Call, the sustainability minute, and more work we are doing on eco-justice, please visit our news page.
The Quaker Religious Education Collaborative has produced materials for those interested in using the video as part of religious ed or first day classes – or other presentations!
Section Meeting 2017 – Same Dates, New Location!
We are so pleased to announce that we have decided upon a new location for the 2017 Section Meeting. As we reported last month, the site we had chosen was closed unexpectedly.
After much discussion and discernment, we have chosen the Stony Point Center in Stony Point, NY.  The center’s co-directors, one Quaker and one Presbyterian, are deeply interested in interfaith partnerships, eco-justice and antiviolence work. You can read more about their work and the center on their website. The closest airport is Newark, NJ.
Please mark your calendars for March 23-26! Registration for the Section Meeting will open next week. For more information please visit our events page.

Meditation Space, Stony Point Center
New Staff at FWCC Section of the Americas

Please join us in welcoming Erica Ferraiolo, our new Data Coordinator. Erica will be taking on many of the duties of the previous Development Associate, Evan Draper, including processing your donations and maintaining the accuracy of our databases, especially the online meeting directory.

Erica is also a graduate student at Temple University.

We will greatly miss Evan, but are excited to welcome Erica to our staff!

A Year Later: Friends Still Connect After the World Plenary
by Jill Shook and Anthony Manousos (Clerk of our Communications Program Group)

We met Neva and Grant Kaufmann at World Plenary of Friends in Peru and were fascinated by their story. The Kaufmans have lived in Bolivia for several decades but they are not typical Bolivian Friends. They are Conservative Friends who moved to Bolivia from Iowa twenty years ago and became cattle ranchers. They live as simply and as sustainably as possible. Neva is a birthright Friend and Grant was born into a secular Jewish family. With their mostly homemade plain dress, they look like Friends who’ve stepped out of the 19th century.

Grant and Neva moved to an area in the southeast part of Bolivia called the Chaco, where the climate is extremely hot and arid. Their life hasn’t been easy. They had to work hard to live sustainably but they have a happy family and a deep gratitude to God.
We enjoyed many meals with Grant and Neva in Pisac, and we have kept in touch in the year that has passed. For us, the encounter with these Friends, living a particular but sustainable life, displays the essence of FWCC’s mission to bring Friends of varying traditions and cultural experiences together.
When we asked the Kaufmans what was most memorable about the FWCC Plenary, they responded:  “Knowing again that we are not alone….The essence of our Friends community seems to be sharing the love of God, whether we call it that or something else.  This was the Pisaq experience for us.”
To read more about the Kaufmanns, including their spiritual journey, go to our news page.